Initially two hands are dealt. One hand is dealt to the baccarat player, one for the banker. You can bet on either one hand or the other, or a tie. If the hand you bet on wins, you get an even money payoff. If you bet 5 dollars and win, you get your 5 dollars back, and another 5. If you bet on a tie, you get an 8 to 1 payoff (bet 5 get 5 plus 40). This is of course because a tie occurs less than once out of every ten hands, making it quite a risk to the player.
Each hand gets two initial cards. The hand closest to a value of 9 wins. Tens and face cards (except the ace) count as zero. The ace counts as one, and cards 2 through 9 are worth face value. Internet Baccarat rules state that the hand closest to a value of 9 wins.
There is no “bust” as in blackjack. The first digit of a 2 digit total is dropped. This means, if a 6 and a 7 are drawn, the total is 13, but the first digit is dropped, so the count is 3. If the first two cards achieve a count of 8 or 9 it is called a “natural”, and as such wins automatically excluding the event of a tie of equal valued “naturals”. If neither initial hand is a natural, additional cards are drawn to determine a winner.
Internet Baccarat rules state that winning banker bets are subject to a 5% house commission. This is due to the fact that there is more of a chance for a banker win. Something to consider is that even after the 5% house commission, there is still an advantage to betting on the house. The margin is slim at 0.19%, but it does exist. All bets are made before the cards are dealt. At a land-based casino each player gets the chance to deal if they want to, or they have the option of passing to the next player.